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tech Guide to a Jeeper's Garage
Big Tools


Selecting a welder for your garage is not usually difficult, it usually just requires you to know the kind of work you are going to do.  We are assuming that most of your work will involve steel fabrication and repair for your Jeep.  Typically fabrication is on 1/4" to 3/8" thick steel.  First we will look at the kind of welders that are available.

Welder Types

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) - Also known as Stick.  This process uses a consumable stick that progressively becomes shorter as it is used up.  Typically more forgiving on rusted or dirty metal.  Requires moderate skill level.  Stick welding leaves more slag behind as the shielding material vaporizes during the weld process.  Low Cost.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) - Also known as MIG.  This is the most commonly used welding system in the automotive world.  It is relatively easy to use and master.  A wire is continuously fed through the wand, this does not require the welder to adjust position to compensate for a consumed stick.  An inert gas such as argon provides the welding environment and eliminates any slag left over from the welding process. Moderate Cost.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) - Also known as TIG.  TIG is a manual welding process that uses a nonconsumable electrode made of tungsten, an inert or semi-inert gas mixture, and a separate filler material.  TIG welding can produce high quality and highly aesthetic welds.  It can be used to weld very small material and many different kinds of alloys.  High Cost.

Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) - Similar welding method to MIG.  Often MIG welders and FCAW welders can be converted on way or another.  FCAW feeds a constant supply of material through a wand similar to a MIG.  FCAW will produce some slag due to the consumption of the flux material during the weld process.  This type of welder is very forgiving on dirty or rusted metal. Low Cost

Welding Surface

The welding surface should be clean and free of paint.  If the metal is rusted use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove as much of the rust as possible.  Only weld alike metals.  Galvanized steel or other coated metals should have the coating removed before welding or weld spattering will occur and the weld will be very weak.

Welding Positions

MIG and Flux Core welders allow the greatest flexibility in welding positions.

Duty Cycle

One way of classifying the "size" of welding power sources is measuring how much amperage can be generated in a given "duty cycle." Duty cycle is the number of minutes, out of a 10-minute cycle, a welder can operate.

An Investment

Think of a welder as an investment into your garage.  They can provide years of reliable service.  It is our opinion to not skimp on a quality welder.  Strong quality welds are what is keeping your hard work together. favorite welders

Miller Millermatic 175 Mig Welder

Miller Millermatic 210 MIG Welder

Lincoln Power MIG 175

Lincoln Power MIG 215

Popular Welder Manufacturers
Hobart Guide to a Jeeper's Garage
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